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Links to Opportunity

Links to Opportunity Project

The Links to Opportunity Project was initiated in 2016 to actively engage the community in designing streetscape improvements along Sound Transit’s Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension route. The scope of these improvements include sidewalks, lighting, street furniture, wayfinding signage, trees, and landscaping. The resulting streetscape design will enable safe access for all users including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities.


The Links to Opportunity project will also work with a consultant to identify strategies to connect Hilltop residents with workforce development and economic empowerment opportunities provided by the increase in number of construction jobs in the region, including those related to the Tacoma Link Extension Construction. For more information about the Equity and Empowerment Initiative, please email Carol Wolfe.


Project Funding

The project is funded by a $2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s pilot program for transit-oriented development. The City of Tacoma provided a $500,000 match, bringing the project budget total to $2.5 million. The project is funded through August 2019. 

Hilltop Engagement Committee 

The Hilltop Engagement Committee (HEC) was established by the City Council to provide an opportunity for residents, organizations and businesses to share their expertise and provide input, recommendations and feedback for the Links to Opportunity Program. The HEC weighed in on project goals and deliverables in the context of the City of Tacoma’s 2025 Strategic Plan, Equity and Empowerment Initiative, Hilltop and North Downtown Subarea Plans, Transportation Master Plan, and Complete Streets Design Guidelines. The Hilltop Engagement Committee met monthly from October 2016 through December 2018 at Bates Technical College. HEC meeting agendas and notes are posted below.

HEC Meeting Agendas and Notes

Grassroots Outreach Reports

From July to October 2017, three organizations – Downtown on the Go, Sound Outreach – Hilltop Action Coalition, and Tacoma Housing Authority – engaged in grassroots outreach with the Hilltop community.  Downtown on the Go captured input from corridor users through pop-up placemaking, tactical urbanism, temporary traffic calming efforts, and speak up trainings.  Sound Outreach – Hilltop Action Coalition (HAC) engaged the community through the HAC neighborhood leader network, community meetings, and social media.  And the Tacoma Housing Authority held four focus group meetings targeted at specific interest groups. The final reports are available using the links below.

Technical Assistance

The Federal Transit Administration and the nonprofit organization Smart Growth America together awarded the Links to Opportunity project technical assistance of consulting expertise in economic development, housing, and transit-oriented development. These consulting services enhance the economic development efforts associated with the Links to Opportunity Project.